Latest Update: 10/14/2013
I’m not 100% sure when it started, but I know as a young kid, my first games ever played were the original Super Mario Brothers, and Duck Hunt, on the original Nintendo (NES). I played NES games for a good long time. I never touched Super Nintendo, very little GameBoy, and never touched any system other then a Nintendo System. After N64, I stopped playing console games. It was getting too expensive, having to pay for a new system every couple of years, and then each game. I started PC gaming, and no matter what computer I have, I can play any game I’ve ever had. (I loved playing Techmo Super Bowl, and Double Dragon on NES, and would have loved to play the same game with N64 graphics.)
My current computer is fried, and I’m waiting on the arrival of a new one, but the point is, I could sit down at this computer, and play current stuff, (like WoW) and also still play older stuff, like Diablo, Ultima Online, and Age of Empires.
I was never “in the loop” when it came to gaming news. I always heard about things late, mainly because I grew up in a very old fashioned family. My father worked with computers when he was younger, but the kind of computer he worked with were as big as a warehouse wall. There was a very small monitor, and it was all data entry and storage, that could be printed out. The first computer we had at home had Windows 3, and still required a DOS Prompt entry for boot-up before you could get to the operating system’s desktop. We had dial-up, though never 28.8, only 56k. We had AOL 3.0 as our first access to the internet. I don’t remember if it was via an add, or if it was a comment I heard from someone else, but the first computer game I ever played was Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings. Now, I remember playing Starcraft on N64, and finding out that it was a computer game first (and eventually tried it on the computer). Of course, after I found this out, I wondered how I ever managed to play the game with just a N64 controller, and not a full keyboard.
This became a pattern for me. I liked Age of Empires, and so I made an effort to learn more about who made it, and look for games similar. I eventually played the expansion, Age of Empires II: Age of Conquerors, and it’s follow-up games Age of Mythology, and Age of Empires III. Looking for games similar, around the year 2000, I got a game called Battle Realms. It was a somewhat fun game, similar in style to Starcraft and Age of Mythology, but mainly, it opened me up to info from it’s producer, UBIsoft. UBIsoft, in 2001, came out with an MMO called Shadowbane. I had never encountered a game like it, and was unaware, at the time, of pay-to-play games. For about a year and a half I played this game, and enjoyed it at first, but soon came to despise it and everything about it from the deepest part of my soul. It became impossible to play the game and enjoy oneself when, simply trying to level up, a griefer would come around and kill you for no reason other than he could. However, from Shadowbane, I made friends. People that were, while more interested in PvP, and not as annoyed by the griefing and ganking, still people that shared similar interests. One of such people introduced me to a new game called City of Heroes. I was unable to pay for two games at the same time, but because of my general dissatisfaction with Shadowbane, I tried City of Heroes. I loved it, and never went back to Shadowbane. My account eventually lapsed, and I played City of Heroes with the few that had come over with me. They eventually went back, because they wanted pvp as well, and at the time, City of Heroes had none. I met new people in City of Heroes that became my friends as well. One of such friends has commonly been referred to as Death Blow, or DB. (*pauses for gasps and applause*) Anyway, I played City of Heroes, and eventually City of Villains, with them, but between CoH and CoV, some developer changes got on my nerves, and for a while, I stopped playing.
I tried out a game called Guild Wars, and for a short time, got DB and his wife (who was referred to as Desdemona, or simply Des) to join me. It was unnerving that a level 6 could still kill a level 20, and it was dissatisfying that I got five characters to 20 (the level cap) within 3 months, but for a short time, it was a nice change from City of Heroes. I got involved with a guild called Warrior Nation in Guild Wars. Warrior Nation is a vast gaming community that plays numerous different games, and by some coincidence, they had a group in City of Heroes. I decided to take a peek back, and played again, just before City of Villains came out, which brought me back fully, to the game. However, it would be short lived again. I played CoH/CoV for a cumulative 3 years and change, and then stopped playing for good. I took a peek back for two months recently, but not a lot of new stuff is around, which brings me back to the reason I left. Too much monotony.
A friend from CoH/CoV brought me over to World of Warcraft, not long after “The Burning Crusade” expansion had been released. It took me a while, but I eventually got a couple characters to 70, and started raiding TBC content. I was hooked on WoW for a while. There were ups and downs, as is the case in all things, but I have still consistently played. I took two breaks from WoW, once shortly after Cataclysm came out. I was again upset over some changes I felt were over the top, and so I stopped playing. At this time, I tried out Star Wars: The Old Republic. However, my computer was not great for it. I could play it, but zoning in and out of my starship brought heavy lag, and space missions were difficult to handle with that lag. On a planet, I was fine for the most part. I miss playing the game, to be honest, but through several server population issues, I stopped playing. I got tired of rolling a character, leveling up to 50, and then suddenly one day, finding no one on the server. People jumped servers like the servers themselves were a fad within the game. And I was not going to pay money just to move my character to another server. I did enough of that in WoW, and I don’t have a lot of money. Afterwards, I returned to WoW, just before the next expansion came out, Mists of Pandaria. 10 times better than Cataclysm, second best only to Wrath of the Lich King. But by this point, a lot of people had stopped playing, and after a while, many of my friends had left the game as well. So now, I’m sort of between games, with little to play. I tried out Final Fantasy, in a 1 month free trial, and my computer cannot handle it one bit. Incredible lag. I’d need a whole new computer just to play it. And that isn’t happening anytime soon.
Before I joined City of Heroes, I did have a bit of time where I was still playing Shadowbane, but not 100% still into it, and so I was exploring other stuff. It was at this time that I backtracked, and looked at older stuff, which brought me into playing Diablo II and Ultima Online. Both of which were short-lived, mainly because I didn’t have anyone to play with. I always get bored easily if I play anything alone. I don’t play online, multiplayer games, to be solo. I don’t understand solo-players. If I wanted to play something by myself, I’d play console, or free-to-play games.
I still associate with much of the crew I once played City of Heroes and City of Villains with. The majority of them still play the CoX series, but a couple have ventured to other games. In fact, there was a short stint of people playing Champions Online, which died, and there’s was talk of people moving over to DCUO. I never played DCUO though, and I do not think any of them did either. At this point, some of my friends are playing FFXIV, others … who knows what. A menagerie of things really. I don’t know what to go to now, so am just idly playing Skyrim from time to time.
Graphics has always been a concern of many players. I never understood why. I like detail. Yea it was cool, playing City of Heroes, and walking up to a cinema in the game, and seeing actual detail in the movie posters on the wall, but eye candy only goes so far. It doesn’t enhance the gaming experience. What keeps me interested is the content. Is the story interesting enough that I’ll want to come back and see what happens next? As I said before, I miss playing Star Wars. If I had people to play with, and perhaps a better computer, I’d still be playing it. Mainly, it is the shortage of money and friends to play with, that is the reason I don’t play Star Wars right now. If Star Wars had the quality of graphics of WoW, I’d still play it. It is the story that gets me involved, not the eye candy. Who cares if the graphics look beautiful, if the story feels like it came out of a donkey’s rear end? Shadowbane had the best graphics around back in 2001. No story content at all. Nothing to immerse yourself in lore. It was bland.
Other games I’ve played, but never bought… I’ve alpha tested a game called Rift: Planes of Telara, and was selected to beta test Age of Conan, but my computer couldn’t handle it’s requirements. Oddly enough though, I got a reward, still sitting in my e-mail inbox, for being a beta tester. Never even got the client to run. Rift I grew bored with. The story behind it was stale and flat, and not truely interesting.
Other than that, I can’t think of any other games I’ve played (off the top of my head), but that’s still the jyst of my experience, in a nutshell. What games will there be for me in the future? Who knows.